GameMaker:HTML5 Beta Released

The first publicly available version of GameMaker:HTML5 has been released, a beta, which can be purchased for $79 using a coupon. From Tuesday next week the price will rise to $99 and when the first “full” version is released that will jump to $199.

You can buy GameMaker:HTML5 here.

HTML5 GameMakerWriting on Twitter about today’s release the Game Maker founder Mark Overmars tweeted “If you buy it you get it immediately and can create your first HTML5 game in minutes.” An option on the new Welcome screen enables GameMaker 8.1 editable files to be imported, allowing the software to live up to Mark;s words. There is no option to import an editable file directly from GameMaker for Mac as currently the GameMaker:HTML5 IDE is only available for Windows.

The release had clearly been highly anticipated by some, a few users had downloaded and installed the software before it was officially ready to go and shortly after the announcement was experiencing a heavier than normal server load. Throughout the afternoon converted PC GameMaker games have been appearing online. Every game I tested ran smoothly and was as responsive as desktop-based GameMaker games on my 3 year old laptop using Chrome.

Although I assume that the vast majority of those using GameMaker:HTML5, at least during its beta stage, will own the existing “Standard” GameMaker it is perhaps worth noting that GameMaker:HTML5 can also export games in .exe format. The drop down menu which lets you toggle between testing and exporting a game in .exe or HTML format seems a bit laborious given it only lists two options.

Immediately obvious when you first activate the software with your licence code is the IDE skin, very different to the colour scheme used in all previous versions of GameMaker. For some reason this reminded me of OpenTTD! The skin can be disabled under File -> Preferences but when it’s gone you aren’t back with the GameMaker 8.1 appearance but a strange autumnal mix of browny-orange, white and grey.

As far as features go we already knew what we would be getting, most of the functions from the the desktop versions of GameMaker have been transferred across. There’s currently no 3D support but it will arrive later.

There has already been an update and with an built-in updater these look set to continue. There is currently an issue with the the way topics are listed in the help file which limits access to the function documentation. As with GameMaker 8.1 you can choose between receiving all updates or restricting yourself to those which have been more thoroughly tested first.

It is not yet possible to upload games to but distributing them is relatively easy, all you need is access to a small amount of webspace and the ability to upload HTML, JavaScript, image and audio files.

Game Maker Studio Discount and Promotions
YoYo Games’ Sandy has said that those who buy GameMaker:HTML5 will receive a discount “that will be at least $99” on the full purchase price of Game Maker Studio when that is released.

Community Manager Kirsty wrote on the GMC “watch out on our twitter and facebook for promotions later this and next week!”


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  1. @Ray, there have been a lot of bugs. It is, after all, a beta. They’ve got pages setup for notifying them of that kind of thing. And it seems that the updater has taken care of a ton of those bugs rather quickly. Some people are already putting out experimental games without any bugs. In future, things can only get better for this program. I’ve also heard they’re going to push forward with GM: Studio later this year, allowing native exporting to iOS and Android platforms. They’re also looking at Facebook games as well, which is a pretty neat idea.

  2. One more note to my comment above: After it started to bog down and the fps went to 8 or 9 fps, using the “reset game” option via a keyboard press (putting it back to the beginning with only 1 missile onscreen) did not always restore the game to 30 fps again. Sometimes it did, sometimes it didn’t, even after repeated resets. So that seems an obvious bug.

  3. Bought it today! First impressions:

    The IDE colors were, in a word HORRIBLE. I called my wife over and said, do you find this easy to read and look at? She instantly said “No, it’s a mess!”

    After about 15 minutes of playing around I couldn’t take it anymore and started trying to fiddle with the color scheme in the preferences, which is confusing and limited to just the “skin or no skin” check box. I’m going to cross my fingers and *hope* that more skins will become available.

    The default colors for the code window was likewise headache and eye-strain inducing. I could literally not read some of the words due to the weird pastel colors against the gray background, and fiddled with those easily 30 minutes to get something readable. On the plus side, the ability to save the color schemes is nice.

    In the documentation I wished that it explained how to actually start previewing and making games in html5. I had to stumble around for several minutes to even figure out how to change from Windows to HTML mode. I had not read anything about how to use it and wanted to start fresh. Guess what, the docs doesn’t even have one word that I could find about the drop down box at the top center telling me that’s how you switch from “Windows” games to “HTML” games. And nothing on where your html and js files go, and how/what files to collect and where to put them on a webpage. Could we have an “Upload to FTP” option somewhere? That would seem to me to be a basic and an obvious time saver for when you author and want to distribute an html game.

    I made a quick test program that had missiles fly across the screen showing the fps and each time the spacebar is pressed it adds another one. Even with just the one it stutters across the screen and does not move smoothly like the Windows .exe does of the same code. It did handle over 60 of them without slowing down, which was nice.

    I feel like there is a lot of potential here…just really rough still IMO.

  4. I can’t wait to get GM HTML5 this week, not hesitant to buy indeed 😀

    anyway i dunno if someone knew this secret with phonegap, i think it’s possible to anyone to convert any html5 to native android (and other mobile format):

    it worked for me with toluloo and construct 2, i think it will work fine with GMHTML5 as well 🙂

  5. Really, as much as I hate the $200 price tag. It makes complete sense from a Yoyogames marketing strategy. Go visit any kid movie, tv show, etc website. They are filled with little flash games. Tons of them. With a tool like Game Maker, the studio’s who make the games could cut down on development time greatly, easily justifying the $200 cost per developer.
    And for the hobby kid, who just wants to make games for his friends. There is still the normal game maker. The GMHTML5 is purely for people who intend to monetize their games (Same for GMStudio), I don’t think many people realize that that is the market yoyogames was intending to hit with HTML5 Game Maker. Not the casual hobbiest who makes games for fun, but the indie game develop or game studio who intend to make money.
    That is how I see it anyway. (Just my 25 cents, with the way the USA dollar is doing I think that was totally worth more than 2 cents)

  6. Well, I work with other programs @ work… loving my job as it-specialist for program development.

    However, for quick and dirty game making Game Maker is by far the best tool I#ve ever experienced ^^

  7. Now that I’ve played around with the new GM HTML5 I have to say that its well worth the ~99$ …even 200$ is okay for this product…but…I am not sure if I would still buy it with a price tag like that.

  8. Well, I got it…didnt work with GM for a few years now.

    besides a few smaller bugs I found I rly like it….. sure, I had to change the skin and the code highlighting…but now its pretty comfortable…

    And if u r interested…better buy now then later…

  9. Maverick…it’s not uncommon to pay for beta….heard of minecraft? It was actually sold in alpha. Regardless, html5 is just a over-marketed way of saying “javascript.” Don’t buy into the hype, having your programs completely open sourced is not worth it.

  10. Hey Schwiggy, yeah, I know what you mean, but I just thought it was weird that they had a “Beta Signup” so that you can buy the software to try it out. I guess it was more of a marketing ploy than anything else. Usually Beta Signups are so they can get the motivated & experienced users to put the software through its paces before the official release. I just don’t want to buy, even at $79, until I can see what the performance is like with the stuff I have already written. Probably wait to see what studio looks like instead.

Community Links: GameMaker:HTML5 for $79, Signature Card Generator, IndieGo Magazine

IndieGo Magazine – Commercial “Independent Gaming”/GameMaker Magazine